Reducing Germs in the Workplace: Automatic Door Operators, Antimicrobial Door Pulls and More

door operatorsI had to pick up some medication yesterday from the pharmacist and do you want to know what she asked me?

She asked me if I was ready for my flu shot.

I’m sorry, excuse me? Are we talking about the flu already??

I can’t even begin to tell you how depressed it makes me to think flu season is around the corner, but there’s nothing I can do to stop it. Instead, I can help you figure out ways to reduce the germs in your workplace.

The workplace is a breeding ground for cold and flu germs, especially if you have coworkers who insist on coming to work while sick. (We all have someone like that. If you’re that person, stop it.) But there are steps you can take to keep Germy Jerry’s germs off of your hands, so buckle up.

Automatic Door Operators

I’m a huge fan of automatic door operators. They make my life so much easier.

Arms full of groceries? Automatic door operators will help.

Oh, you’re trying to avoid a giant mess of germs on your hands? Automatic door operators will help.

However, as with most remarkable things, with great power comes great responsibility. (Listen, you can learn a lot from Spiderman, OK?)

Door operators are used when a door can be either automatically or manually opened. (Have you ever been exiting a facility and it seems like the door is a little heavier than most as you push on it, but before you know it, you hear an electronic whir somewhere above your head, and the door is opening on its own? You just used an automatic door operator.)

There are three types of automatic door operators, and each one varies from the next in some slight ways. You have low-energy operators, power-assist operators, and full-energy operators. Depending on your needs and the type of facility you’re in will help determine which automatic door operator best suits your needs.

Low-Energy Door Operators

The primary differences in low-energy and high-energy operators are opening speed, force, and safety device requirements. Low-energy door operators open more slowly than their high-energy brethren. Low-energy operators can also only be applied only to swinging doors. If you’re considering an automatic sliding door, you won’t use a high-energy operator.

Also, low-energy door operators are not required to have safety sensors. However, that’s not to say they aren’t great to have on your doors.

We’re talking about avoiding germs in this post though. I know I mentioned up there how you could push on the door, and it can begin to open on its own, but if they have a motion sensor along with it, the door will automatically open once it senses movement in front of the door.

This makes your life easier and decreases your chances of picking up some unwanted germs.

Full-Power Door Operators

If you have a building that gets quite a bit of traffic, a full-power operator works perfectly . These have different restrictions with speed and force. I mentioned low-energy operators don’t require safety sensors, but full-power operators do. They can also require control mats and guide rails, so it’s important to double check on what is necessary for the particular door you choose.

Motion sensors are usually what activates these, it’s important to note that all doors, regardless of the operator, have to have what is called a “knowing act” switch activation. This can be in the form of a button, a key switch, or a card reader; regardless \, it has to be there.

You’re probably thinking, “If it opens automatically, why do I need a button to make it open as well?”

This is just in case you need to override the door. Think of the doors at a supermarket. Most of those facilities operate with automatic sliding doors. There’s no button to push to get the door open, but there’s more than likely a key switch override.

Power-Assist Door Operators

You get a lot of the same guidelines as low-energy operators as you do with power-assist operators. These aren’t going to help in the reduction of germs in your workplace because no matter what, some manual force is always going to be needed, but I wouldn’t feel right if I left this category out when talking about automatic operators.

Power-assist operators help reduce the force required to open the door. These types of doors are often used in facilities such as nursing homes and medical facilities. Not as much force is needed to open the door, and people can exit and enter the facility much more easily.

Antimicrobial Finishes and Hardware

Are you considering antimicrobial hardware for your facility? Did you know that copper is naturally toxic to germs and doesn’t allow them to live on the surface of the metal? This is why it is such a great option for hardware in schools and other public facilities.

If copper isn’t the look you want but still want something that reduces germs, Sargent now offers an antimicrobial finish in silver.

These options are more expensive than the standard hardware, but if germs are a concern, it’s worth it. You can always balance out the cost vs. reward when you take into consideration sick time employees may need to take if they get infected with a cold or flu bug.

If reducing germs in your facility is something you’re interested in, I hope this article gives you some insight on your options. If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to contact us anytime!


About Whitney Danhauer

Whitney Fay is the Content Manager at LockNet, handling content creation, presentation development and manages all of the social media for LockNet. She has a ridiculous amount of pop culture knowledge that has yet to make her rich and famous. You want to know that one actress in that one movie? Ask Whitney.

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